Trash Talking

Garbage at the end of the Block (2)

Editor B.got the same email that I did today regarding the trash contract dilemma. He is ahead of me at posting these actual letters from companies who opted out of the bidding process for the colossal trash contract which illustrate their sensible review of the contract based on the word ‘unlimited’.

These newly released documents shed logical light on the situation. If you must read only one of them, I would go with WM’s response. Among their particular points for witholding from the bid process, it includes this pointed bullet; “The breadth of collection services without designating the quantities of household garbage and related trash that is expected to be collected.” This line exemplifies the proper reservation any logical person would have upon review of the contract. To her credit, Stacy Head, along with others on the City Council raised this concern loudly last year when the contract was presented.

The usual hanky panky players of Civil Rights Activists who haven’t yet realized it is actually 2007, showed up to at City Hall budget hearing hearing this week in an attempt to intimidate the Council, an old game in New Orleans. The reality is that some waste managment companies have better legal counsel than others. Some of them can read. Others seemed to have opted to go after the ‘pots o’ money’ and worry about the logistics later.

I agree that the trash pickup by all the companies has been very good since the contract was signed. I commend them. Especially those men and women out doing the hand pick-ups along major streets like Esplanade and Louisiana Ave. They are doing a stellar job, making a real difference.

While I like Veronica White for her bravado, she doesn’t have a strong command of the English language herself and is the wrong person to be defending the wording of complicated contracts. The signatures are clearly missing clauses she outlined in her own public testimony, which elaborated on phrases that sound like ‘Based on the current ordinance of the City of New Orleans’ and specific language, ’25 cubic meters’.

According to Ms. White’s testimony, the problems in this contract, along with the corresponding documents from declining companies, place the hinge of this contract issue clearly in Ms. White’s court. She should formally acknowleding this missing language is part of the contract’s core valid agreement failure. Ms. White’s testimony, with these details, places the signatures in default on the contract. In my mind, this publicly recorded admission opens the contract up for formal renegotiation.

Ms. White ought to get to work with the companies who signed the contracts who now want to renegotiate based on their misinterpreted and obviously unfulfillable obligation of the contract. If they aren’t going to handle unlimited trash then they should rewrite the contracts to reflect the payment to these entities adjusted accordingly. We aren’t paying for unlimited if we aren’t getting unlimited. Period.

Certainly, CWL will step in and lend some sensibility to the situation . . . at the end of the day. I am being snarky but Dangerblond goes boldly further in the realm of blogger speculations regarding CWL’s role in the entire process.

The issue resides with the respective companies’ legal counsel, not their color, nor the City Council’s duty to question the contracts’ wording and the dollars expended in order to make sure that the citizens are getting their money’s worth.

Kudos to B. for getting these docs up and online in short order.

2 Comments so far

  1. Eric (unregistered) on December 5th, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

    You have to follow the money? Its an inside deal that is getting the light of day. Things like this do not happen by chance.


  2. Eric (unregistered) on December 5th, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

    The other issue is that the city is collecting for around 64,000 households the trash tax thru the sewerge and water fees. The companies are collecting and being paid for 100,000 homes. It does not add up. Where are the meter maids when we need them?



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